One of the greatest risks on the road is drunk drivers. We all know that. But another hazard that is equally dangerous – and gets far less ink – is drowsy driving.
A recent study released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety opines that acute sleep deprivation exponentially increases the risk of an auto accident. In fact, even mild sleep deprivation ups the risk. Drivers who slept for less than seven hours in the previous 24 hours and also drivers who slept for one hour less than normal had a “significantly elevated crash risk.” As compared to drivers who slept 7 hours or more in the preceding 24 hours:
- Drivers who slept 6-7 hours had 1.3 times the crash rate;
- Drivers who slept 5-6 hours had 1.9 times the crash rate;
- Drivers who slept 4-5 hours at 4.3 times the crash rate;
- Drivers who slept less than 4 hours had 11.5 times the crash rate.
Meanwhile, drivers who slept 1 to 2 hours less than their usual rate had 1.3 times the crash rate. Meanwhile, those who slept 4 or more hours less than their usual had 10.2 times the crash rate. Continue reading →